Skepchick Quickies 8.21


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Mrf. That article on CureTogether has me grumpy. We don’t know whether alternative treatments work (ignoring all the evidence showing that they don’t), so let’s ask the mob! It’s better than asking scientists, because they are corrupt! And it’s cheaper than all those sissy science-based studies with their controls and their unreasonable demand for actual evidence of efficacy!

    (*psst* Hugh is a manatee!)

  2. @Aaron: I don’t even trust mob opinions for things like books, movies, and restaurants so I can’t imagine doing so for my health.

    @MiddleMan: Yeah, Hugh’s a pretty funny looking walrus but a fine specimen of a manatee. I can’t believe I didn’t make the boat propellor connection, either.

  3. I asked CureTogether how to treat my migraines. This is what I’ve learned:

    – My current treatment is almost completely ineffective (If you saw me even able to move at any point during TAM, you’d have anecdotal evidence that it’s practically a fucking miracle), but each person is different… so okay.

    – The worst possible treatment for a migraine is standing on your fucking head. If you’ve tried standing on your head to cure a migraine, that should disqualify you from participating in any survey ever and it should be illegal for you to give any advice to anyone… and that includes directions to your bathroom when you have houseguests.

    – And the best way to cure a migraine? You know, the ones that leave you bedridden for days because if you move or the lighting changes, the pain will make you vomit and you’ve honestly, no hyperbole, considered pulling your eyes out of your head with your fingers and/or taking a saw to your head just to make the pain stop? The very best way to cure them is crystal therapy.

    I’m not normally a violent person, but this seriously calls for some serious face murdering.

  4. Taken from the Wired article on CureTogether:

    “Even if some bad apples make their way into the community, it may still be a better source of information than some peer-reviewed literature…”

    Then they go on to describe 2 examples of “science gone wrong”…dun, dun, duuuuuuuun!

    I’ll take my chances with peer-reviewed journal articles any day over the advice of a couple of bored people who have nothing better to do than tell the world what helped treat their back-acne.

    Plus, if you didn’t really study the chart you might run out and buy something called “Dr. Hauschka Natural Skin Care” ($89.95) because it has the highest average effectiveness. Despite the fact that it was tested by only TWO people. Sheeesh!

    @Elyse: “…this seriously calls for some serious face murdering.”

    Really. Seriously.

  5. CureTogether frightens me. Anyone could cobble together some woo that sounds good and post it. Add a few harder to find ingredients and then peddle it on the net.

    Take migraines – Some people confuse them with stress headaches. (Anyone who gets migraines has been aghast to hear people who are walking around, in the sunlight, carrying on a normal conversation, sigh dramatically “Oh, I’ve got such a migraine.” No, you have a headache. Shut up.)

    Stress headaches are easier to get rid off. So you toss together some bullshit herbs and recommend an iced towel across the back of the neck. Add in 5 minutes of “yoga breathing” and you’re a miracle worker.

    Then you take your “herbal formula” add some caffeine, set up a store online with all your testimonials from CureTogether…

    Of course, if someone were to do this but then donate all (ok, most) of the money to actual scientific research, then it would be more of a Robin Hood thing, right?

  6. @Amanda: Jealoooous!

    Although my woo-lovin’ mom started getting only aura-migraines after menopause. (according to her it was the balloons up the nose) So maybe there’s hope.

  7. @Bookitty: Of course, I could be overestimating my ability to fake conversation, since I tend to get really fuzzy brained and slur a lot.

    But yes, I’ll take that over painful migraines any day! I’ve only had one that was really painful and I spent the entire day in bed with a pillow over my face.

  8. @Amanda:
    As a fellow “Aura-only,” you have to admit that it is pretty darn scary if you don’t know what is happening. At least it was for me. I was suddenly struck blind for about 45 min. I ran to the dr. and was told I had had a stroke (at 25 yrs old) and that it was from my birth control pills. Fortunately, my bullshit detector started going off and I found another dr. that gave me the correct diagnosis.

  9. @Glow-Orb: Eesh, I can’t imagine how frightening it would be to suddenly go blind. My first one, I just got really light sensitive and nauseous. Plus, there’s a family history of migraines so I had an idea of what was going on.

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